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After Visit, Peres Hails Russia on 'Determined' Stance on Iran

Shimon Peres on Friday hailed a "determined" stance from Russia on Iran's nuclear program and said Moscow's position was close to Israel's.
By Annie Lubin
First Publish: 11/9/2012, 2:18 PM

Putin and Peres met in Russia to discuss a wide range of diplomatic issues
Putin and Peres met in Russia to discuss a wide range of diplomatic issues
Reuters

Israeli President Shimon Peres on Friday hailed a "determined" stance from Russia on Iran's nuclear program and said Moscow's position on a range of issues was close to Israel's.

"The positions of the Russians are much more complex than what we think --more, let's say, on Israel's side on a lot of issues," Peres told Israel's army radio in Moscow at the end of a four-day visit during which he held talks with President Vladimir Putin.

"Without going into details, I also found the Russians have a much more determined stance on Iran," he said, according to AFP.

During a speech Thursday at the inaugural ceremony for the new Russian Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center in Moscow, Peres urged Russian and American leaders to "join hands to put an end to the dark terror and threats," of Iran and to stand with Israel in preventing a nuclear Iran.

"The Nazis murdered about a third of our people," said Peres. "They murdered 6 million Jews, among them 1.5 million children, in concentration camps and gas chambers. Such a tragedy must never happen again.”

Peres then brought the past and present full circle, saying Iran is now threatening the Jewish people with another Shoah, saying the regime "claims that its religion prevents it from creating a nuclear bomb. And the regime is developing a nuclear bomb."

Last month, Russia said it was "very concerned" by a new round of EU sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, describing them as "unacceptable" and saying they would only undermine the resumption of negotiations.

Israel and much of the West suspect Iran's civilian nuclear programme is a cover for a drive for a weapons capability -- a charge which Tehran has repeatedly denied.

Iran's nuclear program was one of the issues discussed in a 90-minute meeting between Putin and Peres at the Kremlin on Thursday, the Israeli president's office said.

"During the private meeting, the two men discussed the Iranian threat, the ongoing situation in Syria, ways to restart the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as the strategic relations between the two countries," it said.